iPhone 5S Reportedly in Trial Production

The Apple rumor mill is spinning again, this time concerning an Apple television and an iPhone 5S that could soon be entering trial production.

It's been less than two months since Apple unveiled the latest iteration of its popular smartphone, the iPhone 5, and already reports are surfacing that the technology giant is preparing to embark on trial production of the next generation of the device, informally referred to as the iPhone 5S. The report comes from the Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, which quoted unnamed sources from a Chinese-language Commercial Times report.

"Facing low yield rates in the production of iPhone 5, Apple has accelerated the certification processes for related parts and components for the iPhone 5S, the paper revealed," DigiTimes reported.

Apple sold more than 5 million of its new iPhone 5s just three days after its Sept. 21 launch. Available around the world, the iPhone 5 is the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, redesigned to feature an enlarged 4-inch Retina display, a faster, Apple-designed A6 chip, and other features and enhancements.

According to the DigiTimes report, production is expected to begin in December, with initial production volumes likely to top 50,000 to 100,000 units. Apple has never before updated a handset so soon after the launch of the latest model, although the company did surprise some analysts when it launched a fourth-generation edition of its popular iPad tablet just seven months after the third-generation model appeared.

The report also claimed Apple would begin production of its own television set, and while the information should be regarded as unsubstantiated, the impending release of an Apple television would be in line with a prediction from Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who wrote in a May research note that Apple could announce a television as early as December 2012 and begin shipping the device early next year.

An Apple television would also follow what seems to be a new strategy at the company, which is broadening its product line to tap into market segments it has so far avoided. The most recent example is the launch of the iPad Mini, a smaller version of its popular iPad tablet that falls into the 7-inch tablet category and is designed to compete with lower-cost devices manufactured by Amazon and Google.

On Nov. 5, Apple announced it has sold 3 million iPads in just three days since the launch of its iPad Mini and fourth-generation iPad—double the previous first weekend milestone of 1.5 million WiFi-only models sold for the third-generation iPad in March.